Thursday, 26 July 2012

Guest Third Culture Kid poem by Marina Sofia "Who am I?"

Thank you Marina Sofia for letting me share your poem "Who am I?" on this blog. The words touched my heart. I am so glad that there are people like Marina writing stories and poems about the feelings and challenges of third culture kids. You can follow Marina on twitter too @MarinaSofia8. Now it's over to Marina:


"Who am I?" (The Third Culture Kid)

Or even fourth or fifth culture kid…  This is the internationally accepted term for children who have spent a significant portion of their formative years in cultures different from their own, or their parents.  I didn’t know I was one while I was growing up – now I am raising a couple of my own.  Personally, I much prefer the term ‘global nomad’ – has more of a glamorous ring to it, doesn’t it? But what I do have is that feeling of fragmentation: I do not have a solid, whole concrete façade, but  am made up of so many different little pebbles of influence. 

I used to think moving on is a blessing,
the moved upon powerless and grieving.
Head down, I’d prepare for exit and re-entry, again, and again,
glad to be the one gathering no moss.
But ultimately revenge is theirs:
for they sprout roots, link up, grow together, form tissue
richly alive with many shared hours and insights and tales.
All the shortcuts roll glib off their tongues,
always creating and leading their own trend,
while the mover is running to catch up, to fuddle,
stuck in the language of past generations,
never quite getting the nuance, the slang.
See that flying line of geese?  There’s one just off,
destroying the symmetry of their formation.
I fear I am something of a disappointment:
not enough of a glamour-bird when you want to preen with me,
yet not sufficiently aligned and meek.
My ducks in a row askew,
so easy to shoot at, and never enough time
to grieve.
I’ve learnt to hide my real thoughts
my own thoughts
my solitude.
I’ve learnt a short answer to the question:
‘Where are you from?’, tinged with just enough humour
and self-deprecation to disarm and charm.
Who am I?
I am all that is half-forgotten,
half-mourned, half-understood.
I am all the places in which I’ve left my heart.
I am all that is buried deep inside and want to excavate no more.
I am all that I dare not show you
for fear that you will drown.

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Image thanks to Karpati Morgue file

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Looking forward to this film: "Shanghai Calling"

Just to let you know that I am looking forward to watching this film. Just watching the trailer makes my heart skip a few beats. I am a third culture kid and I just love:
  • meeting people from other cultures
  • hearing foreign languages 
  • adventure
  • travelling
  • a new challenge
  • tasting new foods
  • a multicultural environment
All above elements are included in this new film. Just enjoy the preview. I'm sure (adult) third culture kids, expatriates, immigrants, cross culture kids, global nomads and anyone who has experienced a move from one culture to another culture will appreciate this film.

More information about the film can be found at and on twitter @Shanghailicious.

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Monday, 16 July 2012

The 96th Walk of the World

Tomorrow the largest marching event in the world will take place for the 96th time. The reason I write about the event is because it is a typical Dutch event and I think it is important that Dutch third culture kids know about the history of their country. Sometimes Dutch kids abroad know more of the Dutch history and traditions than the kids living in the Netherlands.

Here are 10 interesting facts about the Walk of the World which takes place every year in Nijmegen:
  1. This year there are 41 472 prticipants.
  2. They represent 71 nationalities. Wow!
  3. People can choose to walk 30, 40 or 50 kilometres every day for 4 days in a row.
  4. Last year the youngest participant was Menno of 11 years old.
  5. The eldest participant was a man from Apeldoorn of 89. I hope I can still walk as far when I reach his age!
  6. The people that walk 50 kilometres every day start walking very early: between 4 and 4.45am.
  7. Originally a military event with a few civilians, it now is a mainly civilian event.
  8. The military walk 40 kilometres daily.
  9. The weather forecast for tomorrow looks rather rainy.
  10. The cross on the photo is awarded to participants who successfully complete the Four Days Marches according to the regulations.
If you are interested in more information visit the official website of the The Walk of the World. The most recent news can be seen on twitter (in Dutch) @St_DE4DAAGSE. Here's a photo impression of the participants arriving today. More Photos can be seen here.

I want to wish all the participants of this international event the best of luck. I hope you are able to enjoy the Walk of the World and one day I want to participate too. Things always start with a dream or a desire.  

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Wednesday, 11 July 2012

A Short video about Third Culture Kids

Today it will be a post with only a few words. Sometimes there are days when it is a little more difficult to write a post. Today is one of those days. I do want to share this short video about third culture kids made by Shari Plueddemann. She grew up in Africa, just like I did.

I hope you have 3 minutes to watch and listen to her story. It's just one story but there are many thousands of people that have a story like this. These global stories need to be told. The world will be a better place when the stories a told by the children that grow up between cultures. These stories add colour, diversity, and spice to this world.

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Thursday, 5 July 2012

So Many Global Stories Waiting To Be Told

I love stories and I love reading books. I usually have a couple of books on my bedside table. There is something exciting about stories. I truly believe that third culture kids, children who grow up between cultures have many hidden stories in their heart. Last week I challenged you: Dare to be a creative third culture kid. Well the challenge is still on. Join in.

My clogs by  DrieCulturen
Recently I found a nice story on Marilyn R. Gardner's blog: Communicating across boundaries. The title of the post was So Many Stories: The trunk that traveled the world. I like the story because it is told by a fellow Dutch third culture kid Annelies Kanis, who grew up in Pakistan.She lived in New York city and Zambia too. Her trunk tells part of her story. Do you have an article that tells a piece of your story? My old blue Dutch clogs tell part of my story.

There are more third culture kid stories that I read online this week:
  • The introverted third culture kid by James R. Mitchener. I quote him: "Thanks to a lifetime of being dragged around the world, this TCK is in constant internal struggle with himself." 
  •  Inventing the Perfect Country by Melissa Boey. Where's your favourite place to live? "If anything, I have been wonderfully spoiled by all the places I have lived."
This week a new book I had ordered arrived. I have not been able to read it completely but once again it all about the personal stories. It is the book Moving Experience: complexities of acculturation by Jutta König. It's all about her research, her thesis, that explores the inner dialogues and interactions of people with different cultural backgrounds. Jutta König grew up in America, France, Australia, Africa and the Netherlands. I am so glad there are (adult) third culture kids writing books and doing research on the topic. I hope to share more insights from the book with you in the near future.

I want to keep you well-informed, so I want to let you know that there will be a talk on third culture kids in Amsterdam on the 10th July. The talk will be given by Lesley Lewis who has worked with third culture kids for more than 30 years.

Are you ready to share your story? 

I want to end with a quote by Plato “Those who tell stories rule society.”